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Add a specific character before each word in a cell

Author: Siluvia Last Modified: 2020-02-20

Supposing you would like to add a certain character before each word in a cell, how would you achieve it with formula in Excel? Actually, you can use a combination of the & operator and the SUBSTITUTE function to add character before each word in a cell.

How to add a specific character before each word in a cell In Excel?

Assuming that you would like to add a plus "+" sign before each word within a bunch of cells in column B as the below screenshot shown, you can do as follows step by step to achieve it.

Generic formula

="Character"&SUBSTITUTE(text, " "," Character")


Character: The character you will add before each word;

Text: The text you will add character to. It can be:

  • The word enclosed in quotation marks;
  • Or a reference to a cell containing the text.

How to use the formula?

1. Select a blank cell to output the result. In this case, I select D3.

2. Enter the below formula into it and press the Enter key to get the result. And then drag the cell with this formula all the way down to apply it to other cells. See screenshot:

="+"&SUBSTITUTE(B3, " "," +")


  • 1. In this formula, "+" is the character you will add before each word in B5. Please change them based on your needs.
  • 2. If the text string In B5 are separated by other specific character, such as comma, dash, etc., you need to change the second argument in the SUBSTITUTE function to the corresponding character.

How this formula works?

="+"&SUBSTITUTE(B3, " "," +")

  • 1. SUBSTITUTE(B3, " "," +"): The SUBSTITUTE function replaces a space within text string "Excel addin" with " +". Here the result is "Excel +addin".
  • 2. "+"&"Excel +addin": And then use the & operator to concatenate a plus sign before the first word and returns the result as +Excel +addin.

Related Functions

Excel SUBSTITUTE function
The Excel SUBSTITUTE function replaces text or characters within a text string with another text or characters.

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